In light of Luuk de Jong's impending loan expiration, Barcelona is acutely aware of their striker woes. In Braithwaite's absence, the Catalan giants will have to go elsewhere for a natural number 9, which has led them to look at the transfer market.
With Dries Mertens now a possible target for the summer, according to the Spanish media site Fichajes, their hunt has taken them to Italy. Despite his advancing years, a reliable source claims that the Barcelona hierarchy, led by manager Mateu Alemany, admires midfielder Dries Mertens.
The expiration of his contract with Napoli in June 2022 is a major factor in this prospective interest. It's no surprise that Barcelona is looking at free agents rather than recruiting big-name stars at this point in time.
It's not only Barcelona that wants to sign him, however. Although PSV are also said to be interested in signing Mertens, it is possible that the Belgian international may want to return to his previous club.
Barcelona has had a long-standing interest in signing Mertens. In 2017, the attacker claimed that he regretted not transferring to Barcelona because he didn't want to play second fiddle to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar at the Nou Camp.
The Napoli striker was left red-faced when he signed a new deal instead of Neymar, who finally headed to Paris Saint-Germain.
Because of his aspirations, Mertens seems to be running out of gas. Signing a 34-year-old free agent may seem like an appealing choice, but there are risks involved.
Is Barcelona really interested in Mertens? It's possible, but not certain. However, if the terms of the arrangement change, a short-term relocation may now be a better alternative than what it was in 2017
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